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The Science of Energy Lecture

The Science of Energy: Resources and Power Explained

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Publisher's Summary

Energy is, without a doubt, the very foundation of the universe. It's the engine that powers life and fuels the evolution of human civilization.

To better put into perspective the various issues surrounding energy in the 21st century, you need to understand the essential science behind how energy works. And you need a reliable source whose focus is on giving you the facts you need to form your own educated opinions.

In the 24 riveting lectures of The Science of Energy: Resources and Power Explained, expert geophysicist Professor Wysession presents an unbiased investigation into the energy sources that power our world. With clear and easy-to-follow explanations that make scientific and mathematical concepts approachable and understandable, this course is a marvelous window into the inner workings of energy that will keep you constantly engaged. You'll examine a wide portfolio of energy sources, how these sources work, the engineering marvels that adapt them to human needs, the economic and environmental consequences of using them, and more. Whatever exciting changes await us in the coming decades (from food production to public transportation to industrial manufacturing), they'll most certainly require lots of power. For this reason and many more, this course imparts essential information for any well-informed citizen of the world - whether you're powering a major city or simply turning on the light.

The world-spanning civilizations that we have built rely on a vast, dependable, and lasting supply of energy. The choices we make have profound consequences for how the world will continue to develop. Get the facts you need to choose well.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2016 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (553 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amanda Gannon Lutz, FL United States 04-07-16
    Amanda Gannon Lutz, FL United States 04-07-16 Member Since 2013

    Engineer in business school. I appreciate every genre but find business/professional reading and epic fantasy best suited to audio format.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Overview"

    This course does an excellent job of thoroughly discussing various energy sources without being too technical. I have worked in oil & gas, nuclear, and dabbled in undergrad research in biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells. There was enough new information to keep me interested yet I would definitely also recommend this course to someone with a non technical background because it provides real facts and information without getting too far into the technical weeds. The lecturer is evenly paced and easy to understand. Overall, A+!

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Atlanta, GA, United States 04-17-16
    Justin Atlanta, GA, United States 04-17-16 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Equally informative and enjoyable"

    I Loved these lectures! Professor Wysession is straight-forward no non-sense in his approach to lecturing. I learned a great deal from this series and it's definitely one of my favorite from the Great Courses. I like how Prof. Wysession called the recent wars out for what they are really about, not religion or democracy but energy and the fierce competition for dominance. Nothing new about that in the sense of history but while we are comfortable within our high-tech bubbles we tend to forget how desperately dependent we are on the politics and business of energy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Albuquerque, NM, United States 09-06-16
    James Albuquerque, NM, United States 09-06-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Influenced Only by the Science"

    The lecturer is unconcerned with political perspectives when it comes to energy policy. He simply does the math. You think nuclear is the answer? Here's the math on what it takes to generate that form of energy. All detailed without editorializing. Solar? OK, this is how much land is needed for this much energy. He simply weighs the pros and cons for every type of energy. It's just the facts, ma'am.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 04-25-16
    James 04-25-16 Member Since 2012

    I am an environmental engineer who loves history, physics, lectures, and thrillers.

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    "Very unbiased and informative"
    If you could sum up The Science of Energy in three words, what would they be?

    Concise, accurate, unbiased.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the direct and comprehensive descriptions of each energy technique with very little discernible preferences bleeding into the narrative. This allowed for a very open-minded listening experience.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Hobart, India 07-15-16
    Christopher Hobart, India 07-15-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Broad primer provides a worthwhile overview"

    As the title indicates this is a very high level overview of the energy industry, technology and political concerns. If you have a background in this topic you might find it too cursory. I, not having a deep understanding of the topic, found lots of good information and leads for further study. The material was very approachable. One area I found particularly interesting was the comparisons of energy efficiency between the various types of power sources and what it takes to tap into that source. This gave me a better sense of why some fuel sources dominate currently and what factors would allow us to take up other sources such as renewables.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Hauser Grove, Oklahoma 10-02-16
    M. Hauser Grove, Oklahoma 10-02-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good and consistent"

    The lectures are organized and grouped in a very thoughtful manner. Each lecture walks the listener through one particular type of energy production and discusses the various methods it is produced, some of the history, where it is going, and the pros and cons.

    This series of lectures is perfect for people who have a casual understanding of how humans create electricity but it would probably be best for someone who is completely unfamiliar with the subject material to become acquainted with some basic energy vocabulary and concepts. The lecturer does an alright job at the beginning defining some of the more complicated terms and expressions so if you're really interested in learning about energy then it shouldn't be a problem.

    I also must commend the lecturer on presenting the information about climate change in a very fair manner. He doesn't put any hype into it and sticks with solid science.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-21-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Educational, non biased, and entertaining"

    The content and instructor kept my interest the entire lecture. I would recommend this to anyone who is curious about how dependent our society is on energy and it's consequences.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alden Cumberland, ME, United States 06-20-16
    Alden Cumberland, ME, United States 06-20-16

    I'm into educational nonfiction. Particularly ones in science, engineering, futurism, and psychology.

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    "If you want to understand energy start here."

    Unlike so many of the books about modern issues, the author is actively unbiased, and presents the facts clearly. He leaves the reader to develope their own, now vastly more informed, view of the energy system.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 05-18-16
    Ben 05-18-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A comprehensive overview"

    Very informative. Please note that he uses mostly US figures and examples but most of this information is relatively current.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    travis brown 04-07-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ride bikes and drive electric"

    interesting informative and thought provoking. presented in a nice progressive pace that starts by laying a foundation of the science of energy and then moves in to the implications for humanity.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • T. J. White
    England
    5/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great course"

    fascinating and brilliantly delivered lectures. great balance of general and detailed info on the uses and costs of energy.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ed
    10/26/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great introduction to the subject"

    Started a little slowly and could have been more detailed in places. But still a great introduction and a title I'd recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicola Hermitage
    10/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Everyone should listen to this."

    Well balanced arguments, very informative and absolutely crucial to understanding today's energy dilemmas. Well delivered and understandable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • david
    10/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great listen"

    very interesting and informative.. easy to listen to and looked forward to new chapters.. will be listening to it again

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. S. Peacock
    9/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent current, broad reference"
    Where does The Science of Energy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Amongst the top 5


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Science of Energy?

    The early chapter's explanation of energy density


    Any additional comments?

    This has been been a good study companion for fundamental concepts of energy issues. The best thing about it is that it's up-to-date; listened to in 2016 there'll be something of interest for all but the most informed. It's politically neutral too, even acknowledges China's advances in energy. There are plenty of concepts that are explained in accessible practical examples.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eoin
    9/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comprehensive picture of energy resources"

    I bought this book with a hope of understanding more about the processes involved in recovering energy, and the strengths of the various resources and forms. It is such a hotly contested topic, which rarely comes with clean cut information, that it's easy to get a biased opinion on the area.

    This certainly isn't the case here. The professor is very balanced, and from the start of the audiobook, he asks you to take the same approach, leaving aside any preconceptions. After introducing some basic physics (don't be put off here, it's very light), he then introduces the various energy forms one by one. For each form, he then describes the physical process involved in obtaining the energy and various aspects of this process (the efficiency, availability of production materials, safety, etc). It is easy to see how complex the picture is after just a couple of lectures, and to see that the strengths and weaknesses vary greatly. In particular, while it's clear that a move away from fossil fuels is desirable in the long run, the change is going to be slow, and he gives several reasons to suspect this.

    By far, my favourite section was the 3 lectures on nuclear energy. The descriptions of the processes involved / challenges faced are really exciting, and I have no doubt I'll listen to this part of the book again. I also enjoyed various `thought experiments' he runs at several parts of the book, like `How much of the US land would be required obtain the entire countries energy needs from solar power?'.

    I definitely think that the book has given me a bigger appreciation and understanding for the topic, and would recommend it to anyone who would like to know more. I should say, I found that some parts of the series require some effort, as the material is quite dry (unavoidably, I think) in some parts. I'm not saying that the whole book was a slog or anything, I'm definitely happy I read it, but it requires quite a lot of attention, as for the most part it is quite heavy on information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Akhan
    8/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting and thought provoking"

    This was well explained. The explanation starts off at a basic level, but later goes into great detail. This has helped me understand the scientific process of different energy sources and the aspects that are considered when deciding what to use at national levels. For a person who likes science and economics, this book was very interesting and thought provoking. In the end the talk about future technologies was also very mesmerising. The voice was very clear and best part was the book was very unbiased.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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